Breastfeeding A to Z

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 may be needed by a breastfeeding mother who is a strict vegetarian.

Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin, found naturally in animal foods.  It is not found in foods from plant sources.  Thus, the concern if you are only eating plant based foods as a vegetarian.  Mom’s diet may not receive adequate Vitamin B12 from diet alone.  If you follow a strict vegetarian diet and do not supplement with Vitamin B12, your baby may have symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency, even if you do not show any symptoms.  (1)

If you follow a strict vegetarian diet, discuss Vitamin B12 supplementation with your healthcare provider.

  1. Mannel, R, Marten, PJ, Walker, M, Core Curriculum for Lactation Consultant Practice, 3rd edition, Burlington, MA, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2013, pp 342.